Pillar 1 – Competence Development in the Life Course

(Heads of Department: Sabine Weinert, Cordula Artelt, Claus H. Carstensen)

The task of the pillar addressing competence development in the life course is to formulate structural models that can be used to build up a consistent and coherent picture of the competencies which are relevant to education, how strong they are, and how they are acquired throughout life. This can be used to plot different courses of education acquisition and analyze them as a function of educationally relevant variables with significance for educational and occupational careers. The pillar focuses on assessing and analyzing the development of those competencies that are considered to be particularly crucial for educational pathways and participation in society. In part, these are the same competencies as those measured in the mostly cross-sectional international student assessment studies. Within the competence pillar, longitudinal measurements of reading competence, auditory comprehension, maths competence, and natural science competence will be carried out coherently across the life span. These measurements will be supplemented with regular assessments of aspects of metacognition or self-regulation, as well as abilities in handling information technologies (ICT). Indicators of general cognitive ability and social competencies (e.g., the ability to solve conflicts or to engage in teamwork within various groups) will also be included in each education stage. Two major tasks of the competence pillar are, first, to develop and specify a life-course-related framing concept that will describe and operationalize the main competence domains that have to be measured and, second, to develop appropriate test instruments. A further important task is to develop computer-assisted and Internet-based competence diagnosis in order to optimize the possibilities for a more efficient longitudinal testing of representative samples.


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